Share

Prevention and Early Detection

ACS CAN advocates for public policies that can prevent nearly half of all cancer deaths by ensuring access to recommended cancer screenings, protecting the public from skin cancer risk, reducing tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke and supporting people in increasing physical activity, eating a healthy diet, and managing their weight.

Prevention and Early Detection Resources:

Our latest survey finds that protecting no-cost screenings and preventive care and reducing the burden of medical debt are the most impotant priorities for cancer patients and survivors. This survey also explores the impacts of cancer on food and nutrition insecurity, with impacts felt across income groups and coverage levels.

Tobacco use has been found to be one of the primary drivers of cancer-related health disparities because its use disproportionately impacts people based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status, mental health, income level, education level, and geographic location. Achieving health equity relies heavily on eliminating tobacco use. ACS CAN is pursuing fact-based tobacco control policies at the local, state and federal levels that aim to reduce disparities and improve health outcomes for everyone.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) believes everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, detect, treat, and survive cancer. No one should be disadvantaged in their fight against cancer because of income, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, or where they live. From preventive screening and early detection, through diagnosis and treatment, and into survivorship, there are several factors that influence cancer disparities among different populations across the cancer continuum.

Eliminating tobacco-related disparities requires that Medicaid enrollees have access to comprehensive cessation benefits without cost-sharing or other barriers to quit tobacco.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) advocates for policies at the federal, state, and local level aimed at addressing food and nutrition insecurity and reducing health disparities. Having consistent access to affordable nutritious food has a direct impact on a person’s health and can help prevent, manage, and treat chronic diseases like cancer.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) supports policies and funding that increase access to “Food is Medicine” (or food as medicine) initiatives and interventions intended to prevent, treat, or manage chronic diseases and often address food and nutrition insecurity.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) supports giving participants of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) financial incentives to purchase fruits and vegetables.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) supports public policies at the local, state, and federal level that make it easier for children and adults to eat a healthy diet and to be physically active, thereby reducing their long-term cancer risk.

Approximately 1 in 8 women (13%) will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in her lifetime, and 1 in 39 women (3%) will die from breast cancer. In 2023, an estimated 297,790 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, and 43,170 will die from the disease. Despite the fact that U.S. breast cancer death rates have been declining for several decades, not all people have benefited equally from the advances in prevention, early detection, and treatments that have helped achieve these lower rates.

Tobacco Control Resources:

Smoke-free policies reduce exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) in office and non-office worksites. This has been proven by reduced nicotine concentration levels in the bloodstream of the adults who work in these settings.

 

More than 40 years after former U.S. Surgeon General Jesse Steinfeld first exposed the potential health risks of secondhand smoke (SHS) in 1971, and nearly 30 years after a subsequent Surgeon General’s report stated that SHS causes lung cancer and other diseases, all U.S. workers still do not have the right to breathe smoke-free air.

ACS CAN advocates for everyone’s right to breathe smoke-free air so that no one is forced to choose between their health and a paycheck. ACS CAN urges state and local officials to pass and protect comprehensive smoke-free laws in all workplaces, including restaurants, bars and gaming facilities.

Research has repeatedly shown that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS). Smoke-free laws and policies provide immediate and long-term health benefits for both people who smoke and those who do not and are good for businesses and workers.

Exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) is an occupational hazard for many casino workers – from dealers to security. But when smoking is permitted in casinos, no one – even patrons – is safe from SHS exposure. Job-related exposure to SHS is a significant, but entirely preventable, cause of premature death among U.S. workers.

 

ACS CAN and 77 leading public health organizations urged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and its enforcement partners at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), to use all the enforcement tools at their disposal against manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers to clear the market of unauthorized e-cigarette products, including flavored products that put young people at risk for nicotine addiction and other significant health harms.

Tobacco use causes about one-third of cancer deaths in the nation overall, but the burden varies by state.

All tobacco products, including heated tobacco products, are unsafe. Heated tobacco products involve heating rather than burning the tobacco leaf, which is why the tobacco industry refers to them as “heat-not-burn” or non-combustible cigarettes. These products differ from e-cigarettes which heat a liquid.

ACS CAN calls on the administration to finalize FDA’s rules to prohibit the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars immediately. There is no scientific rationale for permitting any flavored tobacco product to remain on the market. To end cancer as we know it for everyone, tobacco use must be addressed and cannot be done without prohibiting the sale of menthol flavors and all flavored cigars.

Screening Resources:

ACS CAN supports the Women and Lung Cancer Research and Preventive Services Act of 2023 by to accelerate progress in reducing mortality from lung cancer, including among women.

Our ability to continue to make progress against cancer relies heavily on eliminating inequities that exist in breast cancer prevention and treatment. That is why ACS CAN advocates for policies to reduce the disparities in breast cancer by improving access to prevention and early detection services, patient navigation services, insurance coverage, in-network facilities, and clinical trials.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Colorectal Cancer Control Program (CRCCP) provides grant funding to 20 state health departments, eight universities, two tribal organizations, and five other organizations to help prevent colorectal cancer, the third most common cancer in men and women and the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. for men and women combined.

Our latest survey finds that cancer patients and survivors would be less likely to stay current with preventive care, including recommended cancer screenings, if the provision requiring these services be covered at no cost were repealed. This survey also explores the challenges of limited provider networks and the need for patient navigation.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in Black men. Black men are over twice as likely to die from prostate cancer compared to every other racial and ethnic group and they are also more likely to be diagnosed at an advanced stage. Black men with lower-grade (less aggressive) disease are actually more likely to die from prostate cancer than white men. The reasons for this are complex and include interactions between social, behavioral and biological factors.

 

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in men and women and the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined in the United States. Yet, about 1 in 3 adults aged 50 to 75 are not getting tested as recommended. This factsheet discusses the importance of screening for colorectal cancer and what can be done to improve screening in the U.S.

 

In the U.S., colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and in women, and the second most common cause of cancer deaths when men and women are combined. Despite advancements in screening and treatment, CRC does not affect every community the same. 

If detected early, cervical cancer is one of the most successfully treatable cancers. Incidence and mortality rates of cervical cancer have declined by over 50 percent in the past 40 years, largely due to improved screening and early detection. However, the rate of decline has slowed in recent years. Efforts to reduce barriers to screening could greatly improve cervical cancer screening rates, particularly for disparate populations.

  •  

Healthy Eating and Active Living Resources:

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) advocates for policies at the federal, state, and local level aimed at addressing food and nutrition insecurity and reducing health disparities. Having consistent access to affordable nutritious food has a direct impact on a person’s health and can help prevent, manage, and treat chronic diseases like cancer.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) supports policies and funding that increase access to “Food is Medicine” (or food as medicine) initiatives and interventions intended to prevent, treat, or manage chronic diseases and often address food and nutrition insecurity.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) supports giving participants of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) financial incentives to purchase fruits and vegetables.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) supports public policies at the local, state, and federal level that make it easier for children and adults to eat a healthy diet and to be physically active, thereby reducing their long-term cancer risk.

What children eat today affects their future cancer risks. Children with access to nutritious food are more likely to develop healthy eating habits they can continue to use into adulthood. Offering nutritious free school meals and snacks, before, during, and after school to all students is an effective policy intervention to address food insecurity and improve diet quality.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) appreciate the opportunity to comment on the USDA proposed rule to revise the child nutrition program requirements for meal patterns to be consistent with current nutrition science and federal dietary guidance.

Many important public health policies are often developed and passed at the local level. Communities are also able to advance health equity when they can pass specific public health policies aimed at addressing local health disparities. But preemption—when a higher level of government revokes local authority—can restrict local policymakers’ ability to pass, implement, and enforce innovative and proactive public health policies. States should be able to set a minimum standard for public health protections, but they should not pre-empt local governments from going above and beyond that minimum standard.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) appreciate the opportunity to comment on the proposed rule to update the definition for the implied nutrient content claim “healthy” to be consistent with current nutrition science and Federal dietary guidance.

ACS CAN supports giving people tools, such as the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs), to make healthful food and beverage choices.